Canal mural in Albion was painted in 1939 as WPA project

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 October 2013 at 12:00 am

Artist Judson Smith painted a mural of a tugboat and canal scene inside the Albion Post Office in 1939.

ALBION – When the nation was gripped with the Great Depression in the 1930s, the federal government dispatched citizens for a series of paid public works projects.

One of those projects included building a new Post Office for Albion in 1937 at the southwest corner of the intersection of Main and East State streets. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Two years after the building opened, with the economy still struggling, the federal government hired artist Judson Smith to paint a large mural inside the Post Office. Smith painted a scene of the canal village with tugboat passing under a lift bridge. The scene includes a farm, stores and a factory.

The mural remains in the post office, set up high over the door for the postmaster.

The mural portrays a generalized canal village with a lift bridge, farm, stores and a factory.